Road police have scrapped their speed buffer on roads in favour of a no tolerance approach.
All motorists edging over the limit at any time of the year can now expect to be pulled over and possibly fined, national road policing manager Acting Superintendent Gini Welch confirmed on Friday.
It brings an end to a long-standing convention that law enforcement would let minor speeding breaches slide.
“We don’t have a threshold,” Welch told Stuff, “we don’t have anything other than the speed limit.
“That’s what we will enforce.”
But road safety campaigners doubt the no-tolerance approach will be effective, labelling it “petty, vindictive and ineffective”.
This is a naked revenue grab that has nothing to do with road safety.
People should not get fined because they were driving at 51 km/hr instead of 50 km/hr. It is in fact quite difficult to keep a constant speed (without cruise control) so you often have your speed move around a few km/hr. This is exactly why you have a tolerance.
If there is no tolerance then the only way to be safe is to probably aim to drive 5 km’hr under the speed limit.
Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson said this zero tolerance approach would pointlessly alienate ordinary motorists without solving the real problem.
“The current police anti-speeding campaign will never lower the road toll, because it’s targeting the average motorist rather than the high-risk groups.
“That’s like trying to stop bank robberies by targeting shoplifting.”
He said it was actually quite hard to maintain a steady speed in modern turbo-charged cars.
“As soon as you take your foot off the accelerator, your speed drops right back.
“As soon as you accelerate, it’s very easy to be over the speed limit in seconds.
Speed advisory signs, which simply show motorists what speed they’re doing without issuing a ticket, was favoured by Matthew-Wilson.
“That’s how they do it in Sweden, which has the world’s lowest road toll.”
These are great. Without fail they always make me slow down until I get to the legal speed.